“When you’re dreaming with a broken heart. The waking up is the hardest part.”
Those lyrics just hit differently when you’re thirteen years old and someone tells you that the boy you were “talking to” was caught canoodling with your best friend behind the big white slide at the local water park…
Needless to say, Dreaming With a Broken Heart was the first of many John Mayer songs that I would come to love.
That song, those lyrics, only became more real to me as I got older. They stopped being about the petty middle school drama and started reflecting on more intense hurt in my life, on hard mornings following breakups, rejections, bad news in a variety of shapes and forms.
One day, I realized that I was all too familiar with the feeling of dreaming with a broken heart.
But as hard as that is, as painful as it was to go to sleep with a heavy heart and to wake up with the same burden, what got really hard was when it was no longer about the dreams of my sleep, but about the dreams of my life. My hopes. My aspirations.
What was really hard is when pain lasted longer than a few days, impacted more than a few nights of sleep. There came a day in my life when the grief I carried was so heavy, so constant, that I stopped dreaming, aspiring, altogether.
This was incredibly out of character for me. For years, my dreams drove me forward. They gave me energy. They kept me driven. Call me an achiever, call me an eneagram 3, call me delusional- it’s simply how I am and have always been wired.
I use to sprint in the directions I wanted to go. I refused to look back.
But eventually my heart broke, truly shattered in one of the most chronic and permanent of ways, and I no longer felt capable of sprinting toward these goals in my life. Suddenly, it felt like I was walking through water. My legs were heavy, my steps resistant, my soul exhausted.
There was a time in my life where I stopped really going forward, and even stopped making plans to, because I didn’t know it was possible to keep dreaming with a broken heart.
There was a time that I even believed that my broken heart, the things in my life causing my pain, robbed me of my dreams.
There are still days when I have to fight against these lies.
Beautiful girl, in that hard season, in that exhausting season, not only is it possible to dream with a broken heart, but it is powerful to. The steps are heavy, the journey is exhausting- but dream anyways. It makes a difference. YOU make a difference
Write that book. Sing those songs. Pursue that degree. Don’t stop.
Push those heavy feet one after another. Trudge through these seasons. You have to walk through them anyways, the least you can do is keep your eyes on the trail ahead.
I think daring to dream with a broken heart is one of the hardest, boldest, and most beautiful things a woman can do. I think dreaming with a broken heart is empowering. And more than anything, I think that dreams, when influenced and driven through these broken seasons, become more than you could even imagine.
If your heart is heavy, and your dreams are on hold- I encourage you to dig them back out. I encourage you to scrape up just the slightest bit of energy to pour the pain of your heart into the plans of your dreams.
Dare to dream with a broken heart. Sometimes pain can paint the most beautiful of masterpieces.